So, yeah, 2020 wasn’t the greatest year for a lot of events. But one that got hit particularly hard is EVO, the yearly tournament where some of the best fighting game players in the world compete for glory.
Last year’s event didn’t take place because COVID-19 struck so hard. And while there was an online event in the works, it was also scrubbed after its chief executive, Joey Cuellar, was accused of sexual misconduct, leading to his dismissal.
But fret not. EVO 2021 is ready to return this August, and this time it has a major new partner behind it – Sony Interactive Entertainment. Through a deal with the Endeavor talent agency, the company will take over and present Evo Online in just a few months, as part of a joint venture with a group called RTS.
Tony and Tom Cannon, the co-founders of the tournament, noted they will remain “closely involved as key advisors.” Their full statement from Twitter is below:
“Evo would not be possible without the collective passion and collaboration of the fighting game community, and we’re deeply grateful for your dedication over the past 25 years. We know last year was challenging due to the pandemic, and the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of Evo Online involving a former team member who has been completely separated from the company.
“We want to reaffirm that harassment or abuse of any kind has no place within Evo or any of our future events, and we’re taking every precaution to make sure members of our community will always be treated with the respect, dignity, and decency you deserve.
“In order to deliver on the trust you have all put into Evo, we realize that we need an experienced strategic partner who truly respects the spirit of the FGC. This is why we’re excited to announce that Evo has become part of the joint partnership of Sony Interactive Entertainment and RTS. The new partnership is committed to bringing amazing tournaments and competitive gaming experiences back to you this year and beyond.
“We’re thrilled to work with the teams at PlayStation and RTS to bring you Evo 2021 Online this August. More information on the event will follow.”
This will likely take away the “indie” feel of the event, and also may feature titles that are PlayStation specific, like the best-selling Street Fighter V: Champion Edition. But we’ll see what the companies have in store in the months ahead.
Good luck to all parties involved!